28 Aussies among 298 killed as Malaysia Airlines ‘blown out of sky’ by missile over Ukraine

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Make no mistake this, is a terrorist attack on 298 citizens of the world, but sad and importantly for us here, on 28 Australians and their family and friends…

This was originally a page I made yesterday but I can’t stick pages to top of site.

MH17: Devastation as human face of tragedy becomes clearer

The attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has claimed the lives of 28 Australians, who were among the 298 passengers and crew on board.

A Catholic nun, an estate agent, a teacher, a husband-and-wife pair of doctors, a businessman and his three grandchildren are just some of those Australian lives lost.

They were returning home but never made it. For their families and friends, life will never be the same.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke for many when he said the tragedy was “a grim day for our country and a grim day for the world”.

“We bleed for them, we grieve for them and we will do everything we can.”

Here are the Australians so far feared to have lost their lives

Malaysia Airlines MH17: Devastation as the list of Australian victims is revealed

A Catholic nun, an estate agent, a teacher, a husband-and-wife pair of doctors, a businessman and his three pre-teen grandchildren. Just some of the Australian lives cut short by the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Twenty-eight Australians were returning home with Malaysia Airlines, but never made it. For their families and friends, life will never be the same.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke for many when he said the tragedy was “a grim day for our country and a grim day for the world.” He said: “We bleed for them, we grieve for them and we will do everything we can.”

Here are the Australians so far feared to have lost their lives.

Sister Philomene Tiernan, New South Wales

Sister Philomene Tiernan, who was killed in the MH17 plane crash on July 18, 2014

Photo: Sister Philomene Tiernan, who was killed in the MH17 plane crash on July 18, 2014 (Supplied: Kincoppal-Rose Bay School)

A Catholic nun from Sydney, Sister Philomene worked at a private Catholic school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

In a letter to students, principal Hilary Johnston-Croke said the school was devastated by the loss of Sister Philomene who had been attending a retreat in Joigny in France.

“Phil was a very much-loved staff member and friend,” she said.

“We are devastated by the loss of such a wonderfully kind, wise and compassionate woman who was greatly loved by us all.”

Father Tony Doherty, who had known Sister Philomene for 30 years, has told the ABC’s AM the school community is in mourning.

“I think the first thing that you were struck with was her gentleness and her courtesy,” he said.

“Her character was quite an immediate sensitivity to people and who they were, so there’s been a wave of grieve that’s met this tragic news in the last day.”

Michael and Carol Clancy, New South Wales

NSW retirees Michael and Carol Clancy, who were on board flight MH17 on a European trip, are being remembered as outstanding local teachers.

The couple aged 57 and 64 were from Kanahooka, south of Wollongong.

Mr Clancy, the former deputy principal of Albion Park Public School, had a passion for teaching disabled children.

His longtime friend and former principal, Jim Cooper, says he suffered chronic arthritis and would teach while enduring extraordinary pain.

“The sad part for us as well is we were all planning to get together with a group of friends tomorrow actually for a birthday party so it’s going to be a very sombre affair,” he said.

Mrs Clancy was also teacher and is being remembered for her community work.

Albert and Marie Rizk, Victoria

Albert and Marie Rizk, who were aboard MH17, with their children Vanessa and James.

Photo: Albert (L) and Marie Rizk (3rd from L), who were aboard MH17, with their children Vanessa and James. (Supplied: Raine and Horne)

Albert, a real estate agent, and his wife Marie were on the final stretch of a European holiday.

The Sunbury pair, and parents of two, were heavily involved in the local Sunbury Football Club over the past decade.

The couple have been described by friend Ken Grech as “beautiful” people.

He said the Rizks had called their son James the night before the flight to notify them of a change to their travel plans.

“[They tried to] move it forward because the interconnecting flight was a nine-hour stay so they thought if they could change their flight they would do so, but unfortunately that didn’t occur,” Mr Grech said.

“It hasn’t really sunk it yet that their parents aren’t going to walk in the front door at home,” he said.

Nick Norris, Mo Maslin, Evie Maslin and Otis Maslin, WA

MH17 victims Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin from Perth

Photo: MH17 victims Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin from Perth (Supplied)

The 68-year-old Perth native and three of his grandchildren were on the flight’s manifest and were understood to be travelling to Western Australia from Amsterdam.

Perth businessman Nick Norris

Photo: Perth businessman Nick Norris and three of his grandchildren died in the MH17 crash. (ABC: Supplied)

Mr Norris was a long-time member of the South of Perth Yacht club and had worked in remote Aboriginal communities in education.

Mr Norris’s 24-year-old son Brack said his father had been accompanying the children: Mo (12) , Evie (10) and Otis (8) Maslin home to Australia.

Their parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few more days but Mr Norris, a father of four, was bringing them home to return to school.

Son Brack described the situation as “surreal” and thought it was “ridiculous” when a sister called from Sydney to tell him about the crashed plane.

“I couldn’t believe it … I love my dad extraordinarily and they were amazing kids,” he said.

The parents of the three children are receiving consular assistance in Amsterdam and are believed to be making their way back to Perth.

Roger and Jill Guard, Queensland

Retired Toowoomba pathologist Dr Roger Guard was killed on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Fri July 18, 2014

Photo: Dr Roger Guard and his wife Dr Jill Guard were among those killed on MH17. (Kevin Farmer / APN)

Pathologist Roger Guard and his wife, GP Dr Jill Guard, were returning from a holiday and medical conference.

Toowoomba Hospital Foundation chief executive Peter Rookas said the pair were well respected in the community.

“Roger and Jill went off on a holiday and then attended a medical conference and were actually returning with doctors from that conference on MH17, so we have lost some absolutely brilliant people,” he said.

Howard and Susan Horder, Queensland

MH17 passengers Howard and Susan Horder

Photo: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 passengers Howard and Susan Horder from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. (Supplied)

Howard and Susan Horder were retirees from the state’s Sunshine Coast.

The couple’s sons released a statement saying they are devastated by the loss of their parents.

“Howard and Susan touched the hearts of many and will be missed,” the statement read.

“They lived a happy life and provided much love and care for all those around them.”

Liliane Derden, ACT

A mother of two daughters, Ms Derden from Hall in Canberra’s north, has been identified as being on board flight MH17.

Liliane Derden Canberra victim of MH17 plane crash

Photo: Liliane Derden Canberra victim of MH17 plane crash

Ms Derden was a public servant who worked with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Canberra.

The NHMRC issued a statement honouring Ms Derden.

“The CEO and staff of the NHMRC are deeply saddened by the loss of our valued colleague and friend,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”

ACT Acting Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was devastating news a Canberra resident was on the flight.

“It’s devastating news for the family and friends of that ACT resident and indeed our sympathies go to not only to the families here in the ACT who are impacted, but across Australia and indeed around the world.

“It’s a great tragedy and it’s certainly hitting home here locally.”

Helena Sidelik, Queensland

Ms Sidelik, 56, was returning home to the Gold Coast after a holidaying in Europe before she died in what colleagues have described as an “incomprehensible plane disaster”.

Her brother Hans Sidelik says she had been to a wedding in Amsterdam and had spent three weeks holidaying in Greece.

He says his only sister will be greatly missed.

“Very very funny person, loved life, not afraid to speak up and just enjoyed life,” he said.

A statement from colleagues at Vision Personal Training said: “We will truly miss your smiling and infectious personality that we have all become super fond of.”

“May your spirit and soul live on within every one of us that you touched, may you be blessed to soar high above the clouds and smile down on us with double scotch and water and may you rest in peace for eternity,” it added.

Frankie and Liam Davison, Victoria

Francesca “Frankie” and her husband Liam Davison, who were onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Photo: Francesca “Frankie” and her husband Liam Davison were onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. (Supplied: Toorak College)

Toorak College, at Mount Eliza, has confirmed that teacher Frankie Davison and her husband Liam were travelling on the flight.

Principal Helen Carmody described Mrs Davidson as a much-loved teacher, colleague and friend.

“Frankie was an inspirational teacher and the most amazing person,” she said.

“She was kind, generous, and truly warm and giving to everybody – she was a very, very popular teacher and was well-loved by all the students, parents and staff.”

Mary and Gerry Menke, Victoria

Business owners Mary and Gerry Menke from the small coastal community of Mallacoota in far eastern Victoria were among the passengers on flight MH17.

The couple were involved in the abalone industry and were producing pearl jewellery.

Jeanette Seignior from Business and Tourism East Gippsland says it is shocking news.

“They work in a unique part of the world – a very beautiful part of the world,” she said.

“You know, abalone’s out in the ocean and Mary owns the local beauty and hairdressing shop in Mallacoota.

“Mallacoota’s not a very big place so it’ll be a great loss for that community.”

Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler, Victoria

Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler

Photo: Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler in happier times. (ABC: Supplied)

Victorian-based finance workers Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler have been remembered as “beloved” staff at IG Australia.

As foreign nationals, Ms Teoh – who was Malaysian – and Mr Mahler – who was Dutch, have not been counted on the official toll of Australians killed in the disaster.

In a statement, IG Australia sent its condolences to the families of the pair.

“IG Australia wishes to send its deepest sympathies … to the families of our colleague and former colleague Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler,” it said.

Ms Teoh graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008.

On social media, David Teoh Qi-en said he had confirmation from Malaysia Airlines that his sister was on board the flight.

“While I understand public opinions and comments on MH17, I urge my friends to remain wise and calm when talking about it and also [to] keep my family and I in prayer as we are going through these tough times,” he wrote on Facebook.

Emma Bell, Northern Territory

Emma Bell, a teacher at the Maningrida College in Arnhem Land, was among three Territorians killed in the incident.

Ms Bell’s friend Bernard Price says her students will be upset at the news.

“She sort of had an infectious nature that rubbed off on everyone,” he said.

“Especially out here, from an education point of view – I’d sort of describe her as one of the very few who actually get it when it comes to Indigenous education.”

Ms Bell had been teaching in the Maningrida community for nearly 18 months.

Wayne and Theresa Baker, Northern Territory

Married former public servants Wayne and Theresa Baker from Darwin were returning home after holidaying in Europe.

The couple have two adult sons still living in the Top End.

Mrs Baker’s mother Angela Turnbull remembers her daughter as a loving and devoted person.

“She loved her job – she only just retired from her job in March in Darwin and their plan was to do a lot of travelling,” she said.

“She was a very devoted mother .

Ms Turnbull says the couple lived in the Darwin region for most of their adult lives.

“Before they got married, they moved up there and then they came home and got married and moved back up there because [the] work situation was better than down here,” she said.

Arjen and Yvonne Ryder, WA

Married couple Arjen and Yvonne Ryder from Albany in the state’s south were on board flight MH17.

Mr Ryder worked for the Department of Agriculture while his wife was a teacher.

Ruhi Furdowsian, who worked with Mr Ryder for many years, has paid tribute to his friend and colleague.

“The memory I have of him is his lovely smile and approachable attitude that he had,” he said.

“He was a very hard-working person, always on time, always dedicating his life and time to his work.”

Edel Mahady, WA

Edel Mahady who was on board flight MH17 was an administrator at a West Australian Catholic school.


Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 ‘shot down’ on Ukraine-Russia border

  • Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over eastern Ukraine
  • Surface-to-air missile used
  • 27 Australians were among the 298 on board
  • Pro-Russian separatists blamed, but have denied attack
  • The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur

Russian MH17 response ‘unsatisfactory’

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/E5dWEybzreDiDNaDXsF5yLlaPU9ZwEDw/promo229939880&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has told of the difficulty of investigations into the downed MH17 flight, saying it will be weeks before there are answers for the victims’ families.

He said Australian officials have been deployed to the region.

“Yesterday we saw the smouldering wreckage on our screens, today we have seen some of the faces of the dead,” he said.

“As a nation we need to prepare ourselves for difficult and painful weeks ahead as we strive to find out precisely what has happened and who is responsible.

“My aim is to get justice for Australia, in particular to get justice for the dead and the living. The only way to get justice is if there is a thorough investigation and that means getting access to the site as swiftly as possible … it’s imperative that the site is made available to investigators without molestation and hindrance as fast as possible.”

Abbott said the area is controlled by rebels and “bodies remain strewn over the fields of Eastern Ukraine”.

He emphasised just how dangerous the situation is.

“Overnight, a monitoring mission from the organisation for the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe did gain temporary access but it was driven off by gunfire presumably from the Russian-backed rebels.

“This does highlight though the difficulty and danger of this mission.”

Attempts to contact the Russian government have been unsuccessful so far.

The Ukraine government had said it would give Australia all the support it needed to access the site to retrieve bodies and protect evidence.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will be heading to the US to champion Australia’s campaign at the UN Security Council for an independent comprehensive international investigation with access to the site, debris, black box and any possible witnesses.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have deployed six officers to Kiev and more are on their way, including a five-member emergency response team. Australian Federal Police investigators are also on their way, and more are ready to be deployed as the situation develops.

Contingency arrangements have been put in place to repatriate the bodies, he added.

“Although I must caution this is likely to be weeks, rather than days ahead.”

Ms Bishop noted that for the investigation to proceed, a cease fire around the crash site would be required.

Qantas and Virgin have offered their support for any Australians travelling to the site.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Source: Getty Images

 

Meanwhile, the Government doesn’t want the MH17 disaster to distract from its G20 agenda despite growing pressure for Australia to bar Russia from attending the forum later this year.

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has overshadowed the opening of the G20 trade ministers meeting in Sydney on Saturday, where top officials from the world’s 20 richest nations including Russia have gathered to discuss economic growth.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said there was a “steely determination” to find out who was responsible for the disaster but also not to allow it to distract from the task facing G20 ministers.

“There’s no doubt the events are tragic, just tragic,” Mr Hockey said in Sydney ahead of the G20 meeting.

“But we have to move on with the world, bring those people to justice that were responsible for that horrendous act, but also not allow it to distract us from the challenge of creating a world that has greater prosperity and freedom.”

Nearly 300 people — including 28 Australians — were killed when MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. Suspicion has fallen on Russian-backed rebels, prompting calls for Moscow to be punished with trade sanctions.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who met with his Russian counterpart Alexey Ulyukaev ahead of chairing the G20 meeting, didn’t rule out the prospect of trade sanctions if Russia didn’t play ball.

“These are things we need to consider in the goodness of time,” Mr Robb said.

“It is a matter of how Russia responds, co-operates and is proactive in seeking answers.”

Malaysian prime minister’s grief

The step-grandmother of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was on board MH17, the country’s defence minister confirmed.

Hishammuddin Hussein, a cousin of Najib’s, said 83-year-old Siti Amirah was “on the flight”. Siti Amirah was also Hishammuddin’s step-grandmother.

“Pls pray 4 her,” he wrote on his Twitter feed above a photo of her in an Islamic headscarf.

 

 

 

The defence minister’s tweet today confirmed an earlier report in the Star newspaper that said Siti Amirah had embarked alone in Amsterdam on board flight MH17 en route to the Indonesian city of Jogjakarta.

She was scheduled to transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Bizarre account

A top pro-Russia rebel commander in eastern Ukraine has given a bizarre version of events surrounding the Malaysian jetliner crash – suggesting many of the victims may have died days before the plane took off.

The pro-rebel website Russkaya Vesna quoted Igor Girkin as saying he was told by people at the crash site that “a significant number of the bodies weren’t fresh,” adding that he was told they were drained of blood and reeked of decomposition.

Air travel warning

Pilots and aircraft operators are being warned by the Australian aviation regulator to avoid flying over eastern Ukraine, following similar advice from US and European air safety agencies.

No Australian planes are presently scheduled to fly above eastern Ukraine where MH17 was shot down by a suspected surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people on board.

“Australian air operators and pilots considering operations in eastern European airspace (should) take into account all available safety notices and bulletins regarding flights in the Ukraine region,” the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said.

“Particular attention should be given to notices issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.” US aircraft have been prohibited by the country’s Federal Aviation Administration from flying above parts of eastern Ukraine. “The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk … regions,” the FAA said.

“This action expands a prohibition of US flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.”

First photo of pilot

Details of the pilots of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have been revealed.

The plane with 298 people on board, including at least 28 Australians, was downed about 12.15am Sydney time yesterday.

The flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200, was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur but was shot down in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.

The two captains on the plane were Eugene Choo Jin Leong, 45, and Wan Amran Wan Hussin, 50, according to a list.

A photograph of Leong shows him alongside a motorbike. A family member of Leong’s, who did not want to be named, confirmed that he was on board the plane. Meanwhile, Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin’s wife reportedly told the New Straits Times that he had contacted her minutes before he boarded the flight.

The mother-of-two was shocked to learn what had happened when she randomly checked her phone.

“I had just finished my prayers and decided to checked my handphone as the battery had earlier gone flat.

“I was shocked to see a message from my children’s ustaz (religious teacher) informing me that a Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed.

“I was taken aback and immediately switched on the television to see what was going on.”

 

First photo of MH17 pilot

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying Malaysia airlines MH17 when it was shot down Source: Supplied

 

Nationalities of victims

Malaysia Airlines has released a new list of the nationalities of passengers who lost their lives on MH17. It lists 27 Australian lives lost — while the number according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is 28, including a dual-citizen.

• Netherlands: 189

• Malaysia: 44

• Australia: 27

• Indonesia: 12

• UK: 9

• Belgium: 4

• Germany: 4

• Philippines: 3

• Canada: 1

• New Zealand: 1

Four passengers’ nationalities have not yet been verified.

The full list of names have been released in the flight manifesto.

Flight MH17 Passenger Manifest

Day of mourning

Several hundred members of an exclusive Sydney school community have gathered at a church in the city’s east to hold a special mass for a much-loved teacher killed in the MH17 attack.

Sydney nun Sister Philomene Tiernan was on board the Malaysia Airlines flight

Sister Philomene worked for more than 30 years as a teacher and director of boarding at Catholic school Kincoppal-Rose Bay and was remembered fondly by students yesterday.

“The impact of this is just unbelievable in the whole community,” a year 12 student who did not want to be named said. On a cold Saturday morning several nuns, students and their parents and associates of the school arrived at Saint Mary Magdalene church in Rose Bay for a special mass.

Parish Priest Monsignor Tony Doherty said the special prayer service, which began at 9am, would “focus our grief and loss of such an extraordinary woman.”

Sister Philomene Tiernan, aged 77, was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17.

Sister Philomene Tiernan, aged 77, was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17. Source: Supplied

People leave the church after Sister Philomene Tiernan’s memorial. Picture: Damian Shaw

People leave the church after Sister Philomene Tiernan’s memorial. Picture: Damian Shaw Source: News Corp Australia

The world has been rocked by the tragedy, with people attending a range of memorial sites.

Floral tributes are seen for Sunbury (Victoria) couple Albert Rizk and his wife Marie Riz

Floral tributes are seen for Sunbury (Victoria) couple Albert Rizk and his wife Marie Rizk. Source: Getty Images

Melburnians begin to leave floral tributes to those lost aboard MH17.

Melburnians begin to leave floral tributes to those lost aboard MH17. Source: News Corp Australia

A visitor places flowers at a temporary memorial for the victims in Berlin.

A visitor places flowers at a temporary memorial for the victims in Berlin. Source: Getty Images

A candle burns nex to flowers at the entrance to Schiphol Airport.

A candle burns next to flowers at the entrance to Schiphol Airport. Source: Getty Images

‘Ban Putin from G20’

Australia should consider uninviting Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Brisbane G20 meeting over his government’s “reckless and stupid” actions leading up to the MH17 disaster, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

Mr Shorten said he was fully supportive of the Australian government’s strong stance over the apparent downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“For an outside nation to have supplied these Ukrainian rebels with this weaponry of war and murder is a very, very reckless and stupid act,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

“It is in the interests of resolving what has happened that all of the great powers, including the Russian Federation, support what was said at the United Nations Security Council last night.” The council called for a thorough investigation of the crash. Mr Shorten said the Australian government should consider barring Mr Putin from the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane if the country did not support the investigation.

“If the Russian Federation will not co-operate to help resolve and get to the heart of what has happened here, I don’t think Australians would welcome them coming to the G20,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Source: News Corp Australia

Royal condolences

Prince William has expressed his sympathy for all those affected by the disaster, noting in particular the impact on Australians.

Speaking at Australia House in London, the Duke of Cambridge spoke of his great sadness.

“For all of us who have lost fellow countrymen and women in the tragedy, words cannot do justice to our sense of loss,” he said. “For Australians, for our Malaysian brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth, the crash is a particularly cruel tragedy, coming so soon after the loss of MH370.” He said his family’s thoughts and prayers were with everyone affected.

The Duke was at Australia House to unveil a statue of Matthew Flinders, the first explorer to circumnavigate Australia.

Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer also spoke about the tragedy, asking for a moment’s silence for those killed.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and his brother Prince Harry stand on the

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his brother Prince Harry. Source: AFP

Obama speaks out

US President Barack Obama has sent his condolences to the families of victims. He has also paid tribute to AIDS researchers and activists who were bound for an international conference in Melbourne.

The president phoned Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discuss the tragedy.

“The president expressed condolences on behalf of the American people to the Australian families who lost loved ones on board the flight,” a statement from the White House said today.

US President Barack Obama addresses the plane crash of flight MH17.

US President Barack Obama addresses the plane crash of flight MH17. Source: AFP

Death toll

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned the Australian death toll may still rise as investigators work to uncover the identities of 41 victims of the MH17 disaster who are not yet accounted for.

Speaking on Sky News last night, Ms Bishop also confirmed a 28th Australian death is that of a dual citizen.

The Foreign Minister has issued a stark warning to Russia as it becomes increasingly clear that pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are responsible for bringing down the jet.

Using language that is more direct than is custom in international relations, Ms Bishop made it clear Australia would use its position on the United Nations Security Council to push for an international investigation and warned Russia not to stand in the way.

“Russia has a crucial role to play in all of this. If, as Russia claims, Ukraine is responsible for this, I expect Russia to support a thorough investigation”, she said.

Ms Bishop’s words were backed by the UN Security Council, which passed a unanimous motion calling for a full and thorough investigation.

“The members of the Security Council called for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability,” the council said in a unanimous declaration.

The UN statement expressed the council’s “deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims, and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash.”

Council members stood in a moment of silent tribute to the 298 victims at the start of an emergency council meeting. The council called for an investigation “in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability.”

It stressed the need for “immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident.”

Ms Bishop also said she had been unable to get in touch with her Russian counterpart, who is on holidays, and was told by the Russians she could not speak to a more junior representative.

The comments came after Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier condemned the initial response of the Russian Ambassador to the MH17 disaster.

Julie Bishop following her meeting with the Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov.

Julie Bishop following her meeting with the Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov. Source: AFP

Mr Abbott said it was “highly probable” MH17 was “shot down” by what appeared to be a Russian-backed rebel missile.

Yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister revealed the first response from the Russian Ambassador was to blame Ukraine forces for the tragedy — a response he called “deeply, deeply unsatisfactory”.

The ambassador had been summoned to speak in Sydney with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was seeking assurances Russia would co-operate with investigators and Australia would get access to the crash site.

Mr Abbott repeated his statement made in Parliament that the disaster was a crime and not an accident.

Rescue crews walk through the crash site.

Rescue crews walk through the crash site. Source: AP

Australia was working for a binding UN Security Council resolution to secure an independent international investigation, he said.

“It’s very important that we don’t allow Russia to prevent an absolutely comprehensive investigation.”

Mr Abbott said Australia was eager to take a leading role in the investigation, given the high number of Australians killed.

“These people were innocent people going about their lives … And they have been killed by Russian-backed rebels … Possibly with Russian supplied missiles.”

He had strong words for those that supplied the rebels with the missile.

“Anyone who gave such a weapon to people who were absolutely incapable of using it … Should feel a sense of shame.”

He said Russia’s involvement would be a test for that country. “There can be no excuses, no buck passing.”

Mr Abbott said there would be a national day of mourning and ordered flags at government buildings to be flown at half-mast tomorrow.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said anyone with concerns for friends or family can call the hotline on 1300 555 135.

People search for bodies near the wreckage of Flight MH17

People search for bodies near the wreckage of Flight MH17 Source: AFP

THE VICTIMS

Malaysia Airlines says there were 298 people on board, not 295 as originally stated. At least 28 of the victims are Australian.

Among the dead are Victorian couple Albert and Marie Rizk, who are believed to have missed an earlier flight and ended up on MH17.

Mr Rizk, a local real estate agent, and his wife, who have two children, were due to return home from Europe today after spending a month abroad on holidays.

Other victims are 27-year-old Melbourne student Elaine Teoh, Sister Philomene Tiernan — a teacher at eastern Sydney’s Catholic girls’ school — and Perth management consultant Nick Norris, who was travelling with his grandchildren.

Denis Napthine, the Premier of Victoria, said it was likely there were permanent residents of Australia travelling on other passports who were also killed in the crash.

Albert Rizk (on left) and wife Marie (third from left) the couple believed to be on fligh

Albert Rizk (on left) and wife Marie (third from left) the couple believed to be on flight MH-17. Source: Supplied

The airline confirmed that those on board included 28 Australians, as well as 154 Dutch, 43 Malaysians, 12 Indonesian (including one infant), nine from the UK, four German, four Beligum, three Filipinos, one Canadian. The nationalities of 41 others on the plane were still unknown.

RELATED: The lives lost on MH17

RELATED: Passenger’s tragic last words

RELATED: The families that should have been on MH17

Malaysia Airlines plane shot down

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smouldering in a field July 17, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine near the Russian border. Source: Getty Images

REACTION

Government minister Ian MacFarlane has played down the possibility that Vladimir Putin could be excluded from the G20 summit in Brisbane in November.

“It’s not a security forum and therefore while we need to be mindful that an investigation does have to take place and we do have to obviously see exactly what’s happened here, in terms of the G20, it is an economic forum not a security forum.”

In the US, Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, and possible presidential candidate, said in a television interview that indications pointed to Russian-backed side and action was needed to “put [Vladimir] Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by”.

“The questions I’d be asking is, number one, who could have shot it down? Who had the equipment? It’s obviously an anti-aircraft missile. Who could have had the expertise to do that? Because commercial airlines are big targets, but by the time they got over that part of Ukraine they should have been high, so it takes some planning [to target such a plane].

“And the Ukrainian government has been quick to blame it on terrorists, which is their name for the Russian insurgents. And there does seem to be some growing awareness that it probably had to be Russian insurgents.”

A firefighter stands among the wreckage. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

A firefighter stands among the wreckage. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

AIDS CONFERENCE

One of those on board was HIV researcher Joep Lange, who was on his way to Melbourne from the Netherlands to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference, AIDS2014.

As many as 100 of the passengers were thought to be headed to Melbourne for the conference. Organisers have confirmed it will go ahead as planned

“The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today,” a statement from the International AIDS Society said.

“At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.”

The event is to be held in Melbourne from July 20-25.

People stand next to the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FA

People stand next to the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Australian passport found at Malaysia Airlines wreckage site. Photo: Live Leak

Australian passport found at Malaysia Airlines wreckage site. Photo: Live Leak Source: Supplied

Earlier, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko was quoted as saying the plane had been shot down by a ground-to-air missile.

According to CNN senior US officials have concluded the plane was shot down but were divided over the origin.

“One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday,” CNN is reporting.

A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit.

RELATED: Russian rebels ‘likely responsible’

RELATED: Warnings ignored on Ukraine’s airspace

INTERCEPTED PHONE CALLS

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has reportedly released recordings of intercepted phone calls between Russian military intelligence officers and members of terrorist groups that took place about 20 minutes after the crash.

One call was apparently made by Igor Bezler, who the SBU says is a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Igor Bezler: “We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).”

Vasili Geranin, a colonel in the main intelligence department Russian Federation armed forces then asks: “Pilots. Where are the pilots?”

Bezler replies: “Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.”

“We have just shot down a plane” (translated)

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/F3bm4xbzrdzfpF6qmn3H1D47VMn42Aa9/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjBtO_wVGe&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

A second call was between militants nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” about 40 minutes later.

“It’s 100 per cent a passenger (civilian) aircraft,” Major is recorded as admitting that he had seen no weapons on site. “Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.”

Australian Federal MP Christopher Pyne said there was no doubt that the plane was shot out of the sky. But Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that at this stage it had been unable to verify the cause of the tragedy.

Earlier Mr Gerashchenko told the Wall Street Journal pro-Russia rebels had set up a ground-to-missile battery near the Russian border by the town of Snizhne.

“They clearly thought that it was a military transport plane that they were shooting at,” he said. “They were the ones who did this.”

Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lump

Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

WHAT HAPPENED?

The plane appeared to have broken up before hitting the ground, and the burning wreckage — which included body parts and the belongings of passengers — was scattered over a wide area.

It came down near the town of Shaktarsk, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, and shocking photos of bodies among the wreckage have been posted on Twitter.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/xzcGQxbzqWKQW6VqrZX4PzLKRv_cnPXa/promo229894102&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

“Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border,” the carrier said in a statement on Facebook.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing an act of terrorism and called for an international investigation into the crash.

Some are blaming Russia for allegedly supporting the separatists but a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said allegations that Russia had been involved in the incident was “stupidity”.

Ukrainian woman lies down in front of Dutch embassy holding a poster reading “Putin is a

Ukrainian woman lies down in front of Dutch embassy holding a poster reading “Putin is a killer”. AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov Source: AP

Mr Putin has blamed Ukraine for the crash, “Undoubtedly, the government in whose air space this happened bears responsibility for this terrible tragedy,” a Kremlin statement says.

Putin reportedly opened a meeting with his economic advisers by calling for a moment of silence over the crash.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy,” he said, according to the statement.

The village of Grabovo is currently under the control of the separatists and the area has seen severe fighting between the two sides in recent days.

A man stands next to the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines plane. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FA

A man stands next to the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines plane. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

SEPARATIST MOVEMENT

Ukraine is a country in crisis. The region where MH17 went down has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists in recent days. Ukraine has been in crisis ever since pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by a protest movement among citizens wanting closer ties with the European Union. Russia later annexed the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, and pro-Russians separatists in the country’s eastern regions began occupying government buildings and pressing for independence. Moscow denies Western charges it is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest.

Wreckage near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGE

Wreckage near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Luggage on the site of the crash of the crash. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET

Luggage on the site of the crash of the crash. Picture: AFP /DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

Flames among the wreckage. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET

Flames among the wreckage. Picture: AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET Source: AFP

SEPARATISTS BLAMED

In a statement, Mr Poroshenko said the plane “disappeared from radar screens”.

“In recent days, this is the third tragic accident after the Russian territory were downed aircraft AN-26 and SU-25 Armed Forces of Ukraine. We do not exclude that this aircraft was also shot down, and stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not commit any action to defeat the purposes of the air,” Mr Poroshenko added.

A defence expert told the BBC that shooting down a plane at that height would have required a long-range surface-to-air missile — possibly guided by radar.

Oleg Tsarev, one of the leaders of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, told Time that the rebels did not shoot down the plane.

“We don’t have weapons that can take down a plane from that altitude,” he said, minutes after news of the crash broke.

But there are reports that rebels did have an anti-aircraft military station and the Russian state media even congratulated the rebels on their new Russian-made Buk missile launchers seized from a Ukrainian air force base.

“The Donetsk resistance fighters have captured an anti-aircraft military station,” the Kremlin’s main television network Vesti announced three weeks ago.

Since then there have been regular downings of Ukrainian aircraft including an AN-26 military transport plane, which was shot down on Monday. Its four crew members were taken hostage after they ejected from the aircraft, rebels later confirmed.

According to The Telegraph, the DPR also posted a Twitter picture of a missile system that it captured when it overran a Ukrainian army garrison on June 29.

A spokesman told Voice of Russia radio at the time: “The forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic assumed control of A-1402 (regiment’s) military base” and boasted of capturing the Buk launcher.

Ukrainian government forces manoeuvre a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher. AP Photo/Dmit

Ukrainian government forces manoeuvre a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher. Picture: AP / Dmitry Lovetsky Source: AP

 

A similar weapon was reportedly seen by an Associated Press journalist on Thursday in Snizhne.

As news spread of the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight, the separatists deleted the Twitter photo of the captured missile system.

A raft of global airlines, including Air France, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, swiftly responded to the disaster by saying they had been avoiding airspace over eastern Ukraine due to safety concerns.

Qantas has confirmed that it has not flown the route across the Ukraine in recent months because it recognised the risks presented by the separatist conflict, during which the aircraft were being shot down.

They were further advised on Thursday to avoid Ukraine’s airspace

In France, a statement by junior transport minister Frederic Cuvillier said he had advised “French airlines to avoid Ukraine’s air space as long as the reasons behind this catastrophe are not known.”

FLIGHT PATH

Flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12:15pm (Amsterdam local time, 8:15pm AEDT) on Thursday and was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6:10am (Malaysia local time, 8:10am AEDT) the next day.

A Malaysian official tonight told a news conference the flight path was approved by the International Civilian Aviation Organisation and was in unrestricted airspace.

The plane disappeared from radar when flying at 10,000 metres cruising altitude, Interfa-Ukraine reports.

The Daily Beast reported the plane’s “black box” was on its way to Moscow for “investigation”.

But the head of Ukrainian Emergency Situations has since reportedly claimed that search efforts at the scene are being hampered by “armed terrorists”.

In response to the disaster Thai Airways said its flights to Europe have been rerouted to avoid Ukrainian airspace.

The company didn’t say when the route changes were made effective or how many flights were affected.

America’s FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has also banned US flights from entering the airspace of eastern Ukraine. Via Mashable.

“The FAA has made official what most airlines were already doing: American flights are barred from entering the airspace of eastern Ukraine “until further notice,” the agency says. Flights were already officially barred from Crimea and surrounding areas.”

The crash comes just four months after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which remains missing

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak said he was “shocked” by the reports. “We are launching an immediate investigation,” he said.

The Kremlin said US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had discussed the crash over the phone.

He said US would offer any assistance it could to determine what happened.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”

A statement from the White House said there needed to be a “full, credible and unimpeded” investigation and urged all concerned — Russia, pro-Russians separatists and the Ukraine — to agree to an immediate ceasefire so investigators could gain access to the crash site.

Malaysia Airlines shot down on Ukraine-Russia border.

Malaysia Airlines shot down on Ukraine-Russia border. In this Press Association graphic the earlier figure of 295 was given before the airline revised the figure to 298. Source: Supplied

Malaysian airlines flight MH17: Tony Abbott says ‘Russian-backed rebels’ likely to blame on ‘grim day’ for Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the deaths of 300 people on board a downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet is a grim day for the nation and a grim day for the world.

At least 27 Australians are among the dead after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, where many of the passengers were due to catch connecting flights to Australia.

Today Mr Abbott said the plane seemed to have been shot down “by Russian-backed rebels”.

He indicated he believed that Russia or Russian arms played a part in the disaster.

“This look less like an accident than a crime,” he told Parliament.

“The bullying of small countries by big ones, the trampling of justice and decency in the pursuit of national aggrandisement, and reckless indifference to human life should have no place in our world.”

“Our hearts go out to the families of all the dead.”

Mr Abbott said Russian ambassador to Australia Vladimir Morozov was being summoned by Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop to seek assurances that the Russian government would fully cooperate with the investigation.

Australian officials are seeking to get access to the crash site and a DFAT team is being sent to Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

“Australia will be working at the United Nations Security Council for a binding resolution calling for a full and impartial investigation with full access to the site, with full access to the debris, with full access to the black box and with full access to all individuals who might be in a position to shed light on this terrible event,” he added.

‘Tyrannical, wild act’, says Shorten

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the shooting down of MH17 was shocking and bewildering.

“Travelling at six miles’ height, this is unimaginable. This is a violation of the rules of civilisation. This is a tyrannical, wild act,” he said.

Mr Shorten said the Government had Labor’s full support.

“The missile that brought down MH17 and the missiles that have claimed numerous other Ukrainian aircraft could not possibly be made by the people who’ve possibly fired them,” he said.

“These separatist terrorists are obtaining these instruments of murder from elsewhere.”

Mr Shorten said it was time for national unity.

“It is a time for temperate responses, for cool heads and measured action,” he said.

“That is indeed the strongest possible response that Australians expect from us.

“This horrific situation can seem far removed from our daily lives but there is no question that the conflict in this disputed part of the Ukraine has now reached Australia.”

Many passengers heading to Melbourne HIV/AIDS conference

It is believed that a number of people on board the crashed flight were on their way to a Melbourne HIV/AIDS conference.

The 20th International AIDS conference is due to start in Melbourne on Sunday and run until July 25.

The International AIDS Society has confirmed its former Dutch president Joep Lange was killed in the crash.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop is due to address the HIV/AIDS conference on Monday.

“I know there will be many empty spots,” she said.

“I think that what we’re doing is mourning with all the world and all that have been lost. We want to see justice but in a measured way.”

The shooting down of MH17 comes while the search goes on for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished mysteriously on March 8.

18/07/14 Updated 35 minutes ago

Up to 27 Australians were among 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet which was shot down over Ukraine with the loss of all on board.

Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was apparently blown out of the sky by a missile near Ukraine’s border with Russia.

Dutch authorities have confirmed 27 Australians were on board the plane. DFAT says it is working to confirm that figure.

US vice president Joe Biden says the aircraft was “blown out of the sky” and it was “not an accident”.

Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists it is currently fighting in the east of the country have both denied shooting the plane down.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said it would be an “unspeakable crime” if the aircraft was proven to have been shot down.

“If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.

However, he emphasised that there are no hard facts at the moment.

The Prime Minister said the Government was making arrangements to deploy consular staff to Kiev to provide whatever assistance they could.

Passengers on board MH17

  • Netherlands: 154
  • Australia: 27
  • Malaysia: 23
  • Indonesia: 11
  • UK: 6
  • Germany: 4
  • Belgium: 4
  • Philippines: 3
  • Canada: 1

Source: Dutch officials

Earlier Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said the downing of the airliner was an act of terrorism.

Media reports suggest the aircraft was downed by a Buk ground-to-air missile.

Russia’s Interfax news agency says pro-Russian separatists have claimed to have found the plane’s black box.

Malaysia Airlines said flight tracking data indicated the plane was at its cruising altitude of 33,000 feet (10,000 metres) when it disappeared.

The BBC is quoting one farm worker in the area as saying, “I was working in the field on my tractor when I heard the sound of a plane, then a bang and shots”.

Another said: “There was thick black smoke from a nearby factory. From my balcony I saw a plane begin to descend from a great height and then heard two explosions.”

The disaster comes just four months after Malaysia Airlines lost contact with flight MH370, another Boeing 777 carrying more than 200 people. The fate of that aircraft remains a mystery.

On Twitter, Mr Poroshenko described the incident as an attack by terrorists.

“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Mr Poroshenko said in a statement posted on the president’s website.

Malaysian president Najib Razak said he was “shocked”.

“I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed,” he said on his Twitter account. “We are launching an immediate investigation.”

The White House says US president Barack Obama has ordered senior US officials to remain in close touch with Ukrainian officials about the downed plane.

Mr Obama has spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin about the crash.

“The Russian leader informed the US president about an air-traffic controllers’ report that came just before their phone conversation that a Malaysian plane crashed in Ukraine,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Other airlines are now avoiding east Ukrainian air space, including Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa.

“Lufthansa has decided to avoid the east Ukrainian air space by a wide margin with immediate effect,” a company spokesperson said.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: Official statements

Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago

Malaysia Airlines MH17: Phone tap reveals pro-Russian separatists claiming responsibility for passenger plane downed over Ukraine

Updated 30 minutes ago

Igor Bezler

Photo: “We have just shot down a plane”: Pro-Russian separatist Igor Bezler.

Ukrainian wire taps appear to have captured pro-Russian separatists claiming responsibility for shooting down a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 289 people on board, including at least 27 Australians.

Ukraine’s Kyiv Post newspaper has posted what it says is a conversation between a separatist commander and Russian intelligence officer Vasili Geranin.

In the transcript, released by Ukraine’s security service, the separatist, identified as Igor Bezler, says: “We have just shot down a plane. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).”

The paper also has a transcript of what it says is a conversation between two separatists identified as “Major” and “Greek”.

“The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first 200. We have found the first 200 – a civilian,” Major says, referring to the codeword for a dead person.

“In short, it was 100 per cent a passenger aircraft.

“These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.””

The paper also posted part of a third conversation between Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin and an unidentified militant.

“Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one – fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this,” the militant says.

“They say on TV it’s AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?”

Kozitsin replies: “That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f***ing flying. There is a war going on.”

Military analysts have speculated that militants mistook the passenger jet for a military aircraft.

Earlier Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said the downing of the airliner was an act of terrorism.

“MH-17 is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack,” he tweeted.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said it would be an “unspeakable crime” if the aircraft was proven to have been shot down.

“If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.

US vice-president Joe Biden earlier said the aircraft was “blown out of the sky” and it was “not an accident”.

Reuben Johnson from defence publication Jane’s Military says all the missile systems in the area of Ukraine where the plane was downed had been seized by separatists.

“We have some telephone recordings that were intercepted by the Ukrainian security service … that has the separatists talking to each other, saying ‘We shot down a plane’,” he said.

“So there’s not too much that’s left to the imagination.”

The conversation between Major and Greek, as posted by the Kyiv Post:

Major: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

Greek: Yes, Major.

Major: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first 200. We have found the first 200 – a civilian.

Greek: Well, what do you have there?

Major: In short, it was 100 per cent a passenger aircraft.

Greek: Are many people there?

Major: Holy sh**t! The debris fell right into the yards [of homes].

Greek: What kind of aircraft?

Major: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

Greek: Is there anything left of the weapon?

Major: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

Greek: Are there documents?

Major: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.


 

This is what Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia Airlines and others are saying about the MH17 crash. There are claims the passenger jet, with nearly 300 people on board, may have been shot down by a missile. All the passengers and crew are dead.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko

This is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack.

We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak

I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

On reports MH17 was shot down:

Look, we just have all sorts of reports and claims flying around. That’s all we have at the moment – reports and claims. I’m very conscious of the fact that the Ukrainian president has made that statement (on the plane being shot down).

I believe they’ve been other statements from people in authority in Ukraine, but we just can’t say.

If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, there is no doubt this would be – under those circumstances – an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice.

On what the Government can do for families:

We can assure families that at the highest levels of government we feel for them. We grieve with them, we pray for them. That’s the first thing we do, and the second thing we do is to try to provide whatever practical assistance we can in terms of counsel, in terms of repatriation of remains and so on.

This is just a very, very sad time made worse by reports that it might be a crime rather than an accident.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs

The loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine is a tragedy.

Initial reports indicate there were 295 people on board and there are no survivors of the crash. We have grave concerns that a number of Australians may have been on board the flight. Officials are urgently working to seek confirmation with relevant authorities.

If you have any concerns for the welfare of Australian family or friends, you should attempt to directly contact them.

If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call DFAT’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or within Australia on 1300 555 135.

Spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin

The president of Russia asked the prime minister of Malaysia to convey his deepest sympathy and support to the victims’ families.

US president Barack Obama

The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia/Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.

I have directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why.

And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.

Boeing

Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones.

Boeing stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities.

 

4 thoughts on “28 Aussies among 298 killed as Malaysia Airlines ‘blown out of sky’ by missile over Ukraine”

  1. What is happening to this world we live in? My thoughts are with the family and friends of not just the 27 Australians but all the innocent people killed in this despicable act who were just going about there business.I don’t think I will ever fly overseas again.

    Like

  2. Gee up to 108 delegates may of been on board that plane on their way to Australia for a world conference on HIV…Tragic

    Like

  3. Spend your life saving folks (and yourself even) and researching the terrible disease that is HIV/aids to be killed on a flight to share knowledge with other experts from around the world. A sad moment in history.

    Like

 

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Gerard Baden-Clay Appeals against Murder Conviction

Featured


Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

Just to lighten the mood, GBC needs reminding he was over confident before too! How wrong he was!

cop shop

update 20/07/14

GERARD Baden-Clay was wheeling and dealing behind bars to gain up to $2 million if he’d been acquitted of murdering his wife Allison.

The day before the remorseless killer was found guilty, he bragged to prison guards he would soon be a free man.

And he was set to be a wealthy one too.

Baden-Clay would have walked out to a media deal of at least $600,000, negotiated by his family as he awaited trial.

He also would have collected up to $1 million from his wife’s insurance policies and $440,000 from selling a Gold Coast investment property he had owned with his wife.

Behind the scenes, TV producers flew up to Brisbane to woo the Baden-Clays with huge sums of money if he walked and talked.


 

Allison Baden-Clay’s family make plea as Gerard’s lawyers launch appeal against murder conviction

9 hours ago July 18, 2014

WIFE-killer Gerard Baden-Clay is prolonging the agony of Allison’s family and friends, appealing his conviction just two days after being sentenced.

He claims the jury was “unreasonable” when they found him guilty of murdering his wife and that a “miscarriage of justice” had occurred.

The challenge will likely take more than six months to get to court.

Last night Allison’s family told of their anguish at the appeal.

“It’s been a difficult time for the family, just let her rest in peace,” one of Allison’s relatives said

Baden-Clay was condemned in court by Justice John Byrne for using his wife’s struggles with depression in an attempt to beat the murder charge.

Baden-Clay’s defence team of barrister Michael Byrne QC and solicitor Peter Shields filed the paperwork yesterday shortly before midday.

The appeal claimed a miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been directed the presence of Allison Baden-Clay’s blood in her car was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt it could only have got there from an injury that occurred on the night she died.

It also argued the trial judge should have directed the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Baden-Clay took his wife’s body to Kholo Creek in order to use it as “post offence conduct going to guilt’’.

Baden-Clay’s legal team also claimed the judge should not have told the jury they could consider whether he had “attempted to disguise marks on his face’’ by making razor cuts.

Lawyers are given one month to lodge an appeal. It would then be listed for hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Appeal notices are usually subject to significant refinement before written outline of arguments are lodged closer to the hearing date.

When the matter makes it to the court, Baden-Clay will appear before a panel of three judges. His lawyers will outline why they believe the trial failed and the Crown will respond.

If he is successful, he could be acquitted or the case could be tried again.

update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

An image of a bearded Gerard Baden-Clay that was tendered

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been, but was not, directed that the presence of the deceased’s blood in a motor vehicle was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the presence of blood was attributed to an injury sustained to the deceased’s body on the evening of 19 April 2012 or the morning of 20 April 2012,” the application reads.

“The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant placed the body of the deceased at Kholo Creek in order to use such a finding as post-offence conduct going to guilt.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


Please NOTE This Community is too important to let any individual ruin it for others!

From now on, bullying in any form will result in ONE WARNING FROM ME (ROBBO) and 2nd time will result in an instant ban from the site.

We are here to discuss important things, not to make personal attacks. Admin (ROBBO) will be the one who determines whether or not a message is deemed as bullying or inappropriate. Thank you for your cooperation

(Robbo, owner and operator of aussiecriminals)

 

Who wants to be a unpaid crime blog reporter/contributer?


Not real journo’s who still have a job, maybe cadets (but not good for resume…mmm)

Maybe old school scribes who wish they could stay in the game!

How about folks like me with no relevant qualifications but gives a toss about the crimes in their communities?

The pay-off is a verdict like today GBC cowardly wife killer.

People like me? You relate to how I write?

Hey cant spell well, 2 finger typer…So am I YES…Our stuff gets checked before we post.

Sounds like you?

GOOD keep reading

This site has had massive coverage lately (I cover non famous crimes too)

I’m thinking along the lines of a Co-ordinator in each state

That co-ordinator runs that states crimes and has authors who get the stories up.

What do you think?

Sound good, bad, troublesome, confusing?

All I want is to give the best coverage of what is going on in our communities.

The community expectations has/have?  outgrown my skills honestly…

Each state, minimum deserves better coverage. The good people email me why haven’t you covered this rape, or that kidnapping, or the death of a cousin in my indigenous community.

You could help us!

Gerard Baden-Clay-What jury didn’t hear


Information about Allison’s autopsy released

Previously suppressed evidence involving testimony from the pathologist who did the autopsy on Allison Baden-Clay has now been released.

Dr Nathan Milne could not determine a cause of death for Allison in 2012, but noted three injuries which he concluded could have been the result of blunt force from an assault.

They included an abnormality to the head which may have been a subdural haemorrhage, bruising on the chest wall and a chipped tooth.

Dr Milne’s report said it was open to conclude that Allison was smothered or strangled, possibly with her jumper.

But in a pre-trial hearing in February, the defence applied to have some of Dr Milne’s evidence excluded because it was speculative or prejudicial.

Justice Peter Applegarth ruled his orders on the evidence not be published until the verdict.

http://aussiecriminals.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/qsc14-156.pdf

July 16, 2014 – 6:15PM will be updated with bits highlighted by YELLOW

DETECTIVES bugged the flowers at Allison Baden-Clay’s funeral in an extraordinary bid to catch her husband confessing.

The lengths police went to in their investigation into Allison’s disappearance and death can now be revealed.

Police set the trap because they thought Gerard Baden-Clay might break down if he was alone with the coffin.

SPECIAL FEATURE: From dream life to suburban nightmare

KEY EVIDENCE: Cops knew this was face of a killer

DOUBLE LIFE: Baden-Clay’s asked woman to kill his wife

SHATTERED DREAMS: ‘I wanted to be Mrs Baden-Clay’

However the attempt failed when Baden-Clay arrived to the funeral late with his young daughters in tow. The bugging was one of a number of bids to trap Baden-Clay.

His every move was monitored during the investigation. Phone taps picked up conversations between him and Toni McHugh.

There were also reported sightings around the Kholo Creek area that may have indicated more than one person was involved but police could not substantiate them.

Gerard Baden-Clay at the funeral of Allison Baden-Clay.

Gerard Baden-Clay at the funeral of his wife Allison. Photographer: Liam Kidston Source: News Limited

Detectives searching for a breakthrough went far and wide in the investigation. Photos of Baden-Clay’s scratches were sent to the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency for advice and plant cuttings from the Baden-Clay residence were sent to South Australia.

Experts in Western Australia were consulted to eliminate death by drowning, and maggots were sent to Wollongong to determine their age.

A caterpillar expert was consulted about the marks on Baden-Clay’s neck and chest and a Queensland botanist played a key role in examining the leaves found in Allison’s hair.

Eventually detectives swooped on the Baden-Clay family in the days before his arrest in a final bid to extract more evidence.

A car similar to Allison Baden-Clay’s silver Captiva was recorded on CCTV at the Kenmore roundabout on the night she went missing.

Detectives could not identify the vehicle on the grainy footage so selected a range of vehicles with similar shapes and drove them to the roundabout at the same time of night to see if they matched.

They also stopped motorists on the chance a shift worker who regularly drove past might have seen one of the Baden-Clay cars or witnessed anything else relevant.

The exercises did not yield any significant evidence.

But ultimately it was the evidence on Baden-Clay himself the day he reported his wife missing that convicted him. The scratches on his face marked him as a murderer

GBC was looking for women on the world’s largest sex, dating and swingers site on New Year’s Eve 2010

“Looking for discrete (sic) sex,” Gerard Baden-Clay typed.

“Married but don’t want to be – looking for some sex on the side!”

It was New Year’s Eve 2010, and Gerard was starting early with a resolution to escape his suburban life. The wife he no longer loved. The mistress who wanted him to herself.

A long-time-married, long-time-cheating husband with much-forgotten marriage vows


 

Baden-Clay murder: Police won’t rule out reports Allison’s coffin was bugged in bid to catch killer

Updated Wed 16 Jul 2014, 7:50pm AEST

The hearse leaves the church

Photo: Queensland Police say “wide and varied strategies” were used to catch Allison Baden-Clay’s killer. (ABC/Supplied)

The former head of the Queensland Police homicide squad is not ruling out reports that Allison Baden-Clay’s coffin or flowers were bugged at her funeral in a bid to catch her killer.

Former real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay was yesterday sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his wife in 2012.

He reported her missing 10 days before her body was found on the bank of Kholo Creek in Brisbane.

Detective Superintendent Brian Wilkins, who headed the investigation into Allison’s murder, told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Steve Austin that police were immediately suspicious of Baden-Clay because his face was scratched and “things did not add up”.

He also said “wide and varied strategies” were used to gather evidence.

Austin: I’m interested in what “wide and varied” means. We’ve read that you went to such lengths as bugging either the flowers or the coffin of Allison Baden-Clay at the funeral in the hope of getting some sort of under-the-breath or private confession from Mr Baden-Clay, is that true?

Wilkins: I’m not in a position to talk about methodologies that we utilise. As I said the investigation is in relation to a very, very serious crime and the police will use whatever lawful tactic that we have to gather evidence to sustain a conviction and place a person before the court.

Austin: It’s been reported in today’s Courier-Mail newspaper – is that report accurate or inaccurate? About the bugging of elements of the funeral of Allison Baden-Clay.

Wilkins: As I said a vast array of investigative strategies are used and those investigative strategies are utilised in a lawful fashion and I don’t want to go into specific methodologies that were utilised.

 

Information about Allison’s autopsy released

Previously suppressed evidence involving testimony from the pathologist who did the autopsy on Allison Baden-Clay has now been released.

Dr Nathan Milne could not determine a cause of death for Allison in 2012, but noted three injuries which he concluded could have been the result of blunt force from an assault.

They included an abnormality to the head which may have been a subdural haemorrhage, bruising on the chest wall and a chipped tooth.

Dr Milne’s report said it was open to conclude that Allison was smothered or strangled, possibly with her jumper.

But in a pre-trial hearing in February, the defence applied to have some of Dr Milne’s evidence excluded because it was speculative or prejudicial.

Justice Peter Applegarth ruled his orders on the evidence not be published until the verdict.

Case was difficult to prove due to circumstantial evidence

Detective Superintendent Wilkins says cases based on circumstantial evidence are more challenging to prove when there are no witnesses and no admissions.

He says police were pleased with the verdict but were taken aback by the intense public interest in the case.

“I’ve been in the police for many years and involved in hundreds of homicide investigations and certainly it was the largest media contingent and certainly the largest public interest I’ve seen,” he said.

“I was involved in the Daniel Morcombe investigation. That had significant media and public interest, but it was nowhere near the media and public interest that we’ve recently viewed.”

Bruce Morcombe, whose 13 year old son Daniel was abducted and murdered in 2003, says it is crucial the Baden-Clay children are now given support.

“We feel so sad about those children – the extended family, particularly the children,” he said.

“You know they’ve not only lost mum but they’ve lost Dad as well. We hope and pray and whatever we can do within the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to support those kids we will do that for sure.”

There is no word yet on whether Baden-Clay will appeal against his conviction, but he has a month to do so.

Lawyer Justin Quill told the ABC that an appeal against the sentence is unlikely because of Queensland’s mandatory sentencing laws.

However, he said there is likely a number of grounds upon which his lawyers can appeal against the conviction.

“Those grounds could be the exclusion of particular pieces of evidence. It could be taking the judge to task on the precise wording of the charge or the answers to the questions. The answers to the questions are crucial,” he said.

GERARD Baden-Clay was visited by his parents as he spent his first day as a convicted murderer at Wolston Correctional Centre yesterday.

Nigel and Elaine Baden-Clay arrived at the jail about 2.30pm to visit their son, who sources said spent his first night alone inside the prison’s “jelly room”.

His parents arrived with a large envelope and stayed at the jail for about an hour.

After arriving on Tuesday night, Baden-Clay would have been strip searched, given new clothes, photographed for identification, interviewed and assessed by psychologists.

COURT MOVE: The evidence Baden-Clay didn’t want jury to hear

Convicted murderer Gerard Bayden-Clay's parents Nigel and Elaine Bayden-Clay visit their

Convicted murderer Gerard Bayden-Clay’s parents Nigel and Elaine Bayden-Clay visit their son in Wolston Correctional Centre, Wacol. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

He was allowed to phone his parents where he was reportedly emotional before being placed in a cell to undergo observation, where he will be monitored by nurses and psychologists.

Baden-Clay’s prison number.

Baden-Clay’s prison number.

Baden-Clay’s prison number.

Depending on his risk level he will continue to be monitored or watched remotely by camera before his final placement at the prison, which is filled with high-profile prisoners and sex offenders.

“They usually keep them in a safe area until they can assess their state of mind,” a prison source said.

“He would be considered a risk of self-harm or harm from others, originally.

“I think you can probably understand a lot of media attention can be positive or negative in the prison community.

“Jelly room – it’s a prison term – if someone is unstable and wobbly like jelly, that’s where they go.”

Upon arrival Baden-Clay would have been given an induction booklet describing the prison’s daily schedule and information about employment and medical services.

Family shares heartbreak of Allison’s loss 3:01

He would be entitled to work in the prison and receive a small daily wage of between $4.50 and $7.50 per day.

Jobs in jails include laundry, timber, metal, textiles, assembly and packing, painting and powder-coating work.

“Prisoners have the potential to earn up to $52.50 per week for work in a range of prisoner industries or other roles, such as cleaning prisoner common areas,” a Queensland Corrective Services statement said.

“Prisoners may purchase a small range of approved items from the prisoner canteen, including magazines and newspapers, food items, clothing and toiletries.”

Prison meals are generally served from about 4.30pm and morning headcount is conducted at about 6.45am.

Baden-Clay’s small cell would have a single bed, sink, toilet, shower and TV


 

The public’s fascination with Baden-Clay 1:56

The murder of Allison Baden-Clay reveals a sordid tale with young lives left in tatters.

“They don’t wear their own clothes, there are a lot of limits,” the official said.

“It’s a fairly austere life at the best of times.”

The Baden-Clay family gathered at the family home at Kenmore yesterday and were visited by defence solicitor Peter Shields.

“I won’t be making any comment. It’s difficult for everyone but I won’t be making any comment and neither will the family,” Mr Shields said.

“No I won’t be (saying how they’re feeling). I think sometimes some things just call for a dignified silence.”

brisbanetimes.com.au reporter

Police suspected Gerard Baden-Clay murdered his wife “very early in the piece” while Allison’s family will “grieve her tragic death forever”.

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay may have never heard from the convicted killer if a ruling at a critical point of the case went the other way.

The seven men and five women of the jury were unaware Mr Baden-Clay’s defence team tried to have the murder charge against the former real estate dismissed the day before he stepped into the witness box.

But we were

The application could have changed the entire course of the trial.

The jury was also unaware that Mr Baden-Clay, a former prestige Brisbane real estate agent, secretly sold the Gold Coast home he owned with his wife to fund his legal battle from his prison cell.

The prosecution spoke of Mr Baden-Clay’s behaviour in the days and weeks after his wife’s disappearance, but could not speak of his time behind bars so as not to prejudice the jury.

Evidence heard during his failed bail application and his pre-trial hearing was also withheld from the jury at the trial.

The jury heard the Baden-Clays purchased a Paradise Point investment property.

But, it was not told that Mr Baden-Clay arranged, from his prison cell in the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, for the investment property to be sold three months after being arrested for his wife’s murder.

The jury was also unaware Mr Baden-Clay remained in custody for the duration of the trial, having been deemed too great a flight risk and denied bail by the Supreme Court in 2012.

The Baden-Clays’ beach shack on Abalone Avenue was owned by the couple’s company World of Top Step Pty Ltd, of which Mr and Mrs Baden-Clay were both directors.

Mr Baden-Clay also applied, from his prison cell, to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to have his late wife removed as director and secretary of WOTS. what a loving grieving husband, protecting his few dollars

The sale was revealed in Supreme Court documents relating to the control of Mrs Baden-Clay’s estate in September 2012.

Her father Geoff Dickie was awarded interim control of his late daughter’s estate in 2012, after arguing her assets should not be sold off or proceeds divided before her husband faced trial.

The grieving father, who with his wife is now caring for his three granddaughters, said he did not know the full value of his daughter’s estate.

“I did not know the full extent of the assets and liabilities of the estate because most documents relating to Allison’s financial affairs are held by the police,” he said in his affidavit.

Mrs Baden-Clay’s will was made in 1997, just before her marriage to Mr Baden-Clay and before she had any children.

In it she lists her future husband as the sole executor and benefactor of her will and appoints Mr Dickie as the executor if Mr Baden-Clay could not fulfil the obligations.

Mr Dickie will have to re-apply to take control of his daughter’s estate, although Mr Baden-Clay has been found guilty of her murder. amazing isn’t it?

The jury was also unaware of additional evidence raised in Mr Baden-Clay’s bail application relating to the forensic examination of his mobile phone, which his defence team successfully explained away.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller, QC, described Mr Baden-Clay’s mobile phone as his “lifeblood’’ given he was a real estate agent.

Two days before reporting his wife missing, Mr Baden-Clay Googled “taking the fifth” at 10.08pm.

Police alleged the search led to results including “self incrimination”, which he accessed through Wikipedia.

The trial heard Mr Baden-Clay watched a television program with his parents on the night of April 18, 2012, after he and his wife returned from taking a drive to the Mt Coot-tha lookout to discuss his infidelity.

The court was not told that program was The Good Wife on Channel 10.

Mr Baden-Clay claimed he searched the web for the American legal term to help explain it to his mother.

Indeed, police were able to verify that that night’s episode of The Good Wife made numerous references to the term.

Police said the forensic examination of Mr Baden-Clay’s phone showed he Googled “self incrimination” on April 20, just minutes before he dialled triple-0 to report his wife missing. He only accessed the page for three seconds.

Mr Baden-Clay said he did not search the internet for the term, but rather the web-page from his previous search “simply reloaded”. yeah we believe that

Similarly, the initial forensic examination showing Mr Baden-Clay made a FaceTime call to his father about 12.30am on April 20 was found to be incorrect.

Mr Baden-Clay’s pre-trial hearing heard police investigators realised Mr Baden-Clay’s iPhone 3GS was not capable with making FaceTime calls.

”There was a false positive in the tests,” police computer analyst Neil Robertson said.

The jury was privy to the evidence, but not the legal argument when Justice John Byrne aired his concerns about the defence case during the trial.

Once the Crown closed its case against the accused on the 10th day of the trial, Mr Baden-Clay’s defence team lodged an application for the murder charge to be dismissed.

Barrister Michael Copley, QC, made the application for “no case to answer for murder” on behalf of Mr Baden-Clay, saying evidence of a struggle between the accused and his wife did not confirm she was “fighting for her life”.

Justice Byrne said he had three concerns about drawing such conclusions, although he was careful to couch his responses in hypothetical terms.

“She was involved in a physical altercation with him. She did not survive that. Why is it not in all the circumstances open to the jury to infer that she did not survive it, because he proceeded with his intention to kill her?” he asked.

Mr Copley said: “Because … all the evidence goes to show is that there was an argument, there was arguably a fight, she responded physically towards him, and she is dead. That is all the evidence shows.” this was on the 10th day of the trial folks, I was furious not being able to share this

Justice Byrne replied: “But what if what happens is this: after she scratched him, she fell forward bumped her head and died of a cerebral haemorrhage, I mean, his conduct afterwards looks pretty odd.

“On the Crown hypothesis, he deals with her body in the most undignified fashion, going to some trouble to hide it.

“If all that has been is an altercation of not much substance that happened to go wrong … why would he not have immediately called an ambulance?”

Justice Byrne noted there was no evidence to suggest Mrs Baden-Clay had fallen and hit her head on bricks or cement. She suffered no significant head injuries and no bone fractures, according to the report of forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne.

“What he did involved disposing of the body in an undignified way … and he then engages in serious subterfuge,” he said. our learned Judge was on the ball

Justice Byrne said the injuries on Mr Baden-Clay’s face were more consistent with fingernail scratches, on the evidence from forensic experts. Mr Baden-Clay maintained the injuries were shaving cuts.

“He lies about the scratches and does more than that, he uses the razor blade to create the appearance some hours later of scratches on the face in that area,” he said.

“He then lies to the police about these things and maintains the deception.

“Why wouldn’t the jury say, given a moment of panic … all that happened thereafter is inexplicable.”

Justice Byrne turned his attention to the pressures in Mr Baden-Clay’s life at the time of his wife’s disappearance – his ongoing affair with his long-time mistress Toni McHugh and the financial stress relating to his real estate business.

The court had heard Ms McHugh and Mrs Baden-Clay were due to come face-to-face for the first time at a real estate conference on the same day Mr Baden-Clay reported his wife missing, April 20, 2012.

“All in all he had every reason to be under the severe strain that may have caused him in anger and resentment to engage in violence that resulted in her death,” Justice Byrne said.

“But the critical question for the present is whether the post-offence conduct … and the prolonged nature of the deception that followed could justify the inference to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm.

“Not merely, for example, a panic reaction to an unintended and an unwished-for death.

“In this context, it’s necessary to bear in mind that there was a deal of post-death conduct engaged in; lies to the police about the facial scratches, as well as the children and family members. In all probability, lies about having been asleep that night and about his wife having left the bed at some stage during the evening.

“In my opinion, given all the circumstances, its open to the jury to be satisfied that the only reasonable inference on all the evidence is that the accused not only unlawfully killed his wife, but killed her intending to cause her death.”

Justice Byrne dismissed the application, allowing the trial to continue.

Had the application been successful, Mr Baden-Clay would have only had to answer to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Mr Baden-Clay was convicted of killing his wife at their home in the affluent western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield on April 19, 2012, and dumping her body on the banks of Kholo Creek, 14 kilometres away.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 15 years without parole.

Gerard Baden-Clay found GUILTY OF MURDER

Featured


update 12.35 17/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay launches appeal against murder conviction

Lawyers for Gerard Baden-Clay have filed an appeal against his murder conviction.

On Tuesday a Supreme Court jury found the 43-year-old Brisbane man guilty of killing his wife Allison in April 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 15 years.

He has appealed against his conviction on four grounds, including that the verdict of murder was unreasonable, and that:

“A miscarriage of justice occurred because the jury should have been, but was not, directed that the presence of the deceased’s blood in a motor vehicle was only relevant if the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the presence of blood was attributed to an injury sustained to the deceased’s body on the evening of 19 April 2012 or the morning of 20 April 2012,” the application reads.

“The trial judge erred in law in not directing the jury that they needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant placed the body of the deceased at Kholo Creek in order to use such a finding as post-offence conduct going to guilt.

“The trial judge erred in leaving to the jury that the appellant attempted to disguise marks on his face by making razor cuts.”


 

got him1

A Slide show covering the tragic events that resulted in Gerard being found guilty of Murdering his wife Allison

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have included the Allison’s family’s Victim Impact Statements in the GBC MENU or feel free to access each family members page and make a contribution here

Priscilla Dickie   Vanessa Fowler   Geoff Dickie

SENTENCE

Gerard Baden-Clay, on the night of 19 April 2012, you murdered your wife, Allison.

The killing was not premeditated. But it was violent. That night, you were under considerable stress.

Your financial circumstances were, as you confessed to police, dire. Your domestic circumstances were no better.

You had resumed your affair with Toni McHugh. You kept telling her that you loved her.

You led her to understand that you intended to leave Allison and to be with her.

That afternoon, you told Ms McHugh that Allison would be at the conference Ms McHugh was to attend in Brisbane the next day.

Allison knew nothing about the resumption of the affair.

You deceived her into believing that it had ended in September 2011.

If the two women were to meet the next day, the consequences could have been dramatic, as you realised.

Your unsuspecting wife was doing her best to maintain the marriage.

A relationship counsellor had devised a plan. It allowed for Allison to express to you her feelings about the affair in a brief session every second day.

You had agreed, reluctantly, to that.

The first session happened the night before Allison died; and it had turned into an interrogation.

Allison remained tormented by the affair. She pressed you for details. On the night she died, Allison again questioned you about the affair. All the pressures proved too much for you.

The prosecution suggested that you smothered Allison; and that looks likely.

But whatever the mechanism, your violent attack caused her death.

Her fingernails scratched your face – the act of a desperate woman struggling for life.

Those marks are only consistent with your guilt.

Your shameful conduct after murdering Allison bespeaks a profound absence of remorse.

You took her body to Kholo Creek.

There you disposed of her in an undignified way: dumping her over a ledge to leave her lying in mud, exposed to the elements, insects and wildlife.

Then you put in place – and persisted in – a deception plan.

You used a razor to cut yourself near where she had scratched you, trying to disguise the injuries she had inflicted in defending herself.

You drove around the streets of Brookfield pretending to look for her. You have insinuated that mental illness may have led to drug overdose or suicide.

And besmirching Allison’s memory in that way is thoroughly reprehensible.

You have no criminal history. But you are definitely not of good character.

You are given to lies and other deception: so much so that whatever you may say on any application for parole, 15 years or more hence, will need to be assessed with considerable scepticism.

The   community,   acting   through   the   Court,   denounces   your lethal violence.

The impacts on Allison’s family have been grave.

Their victim impact statements poignantly express their pain.

You took a devoted, loving mother from her three girls, blighting their lives.

Pursuant to s.159A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, I declare the

762 days spent in pre-sentence custody from 14 June 2012 until today to be imprisonment already served under the sentence.

The law provides but one penalty for your awful crime. I impose it.

You are sentenced to imprisonment for life.

Baden-Clay defence offered manslaughter

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team made an application for the case to proceed as a manslaughter charge due to a lack of evidence showing intent to kill. Nine News

MAJOR YELLOW DAFFODIL  UPDATE 11.53 AM 15/07/14

After more than 22 hours of deliberations the jury has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of killing his wife Allison Baden-Clay, the mother of their 3 children.

To the relief of everybody, the jury has seen through his mountain of lies and secrecy, the double life, the excuses and false explanations. Gerard Baden-Clay was the one and only suspect from the very first day and was doggedly investigated by the dedicated QLD Police Service.

How this poor excuse for a human being has manged to fool so many for so long is astounding, but it all came crashing down this afternoon not long after the jury handed in their verdict after they deliberated for over 22h hours.

guilty

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

Off to prison to start his new career, Gerard Baden-Clay is heading to the place he belongs

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

RESERVED FOR UPDATES AFTER VERDICT ANNOUNCEMENTS

The statement made outside court by a family Representative

Here is Allison Baden-Clay’s family’s full statement courtesy of our friends at the Brisbane Times

“Today, we, Allison’s family and friends, are relieved that we finally have justice for Allison.  The evidence presented at this trial has proven that Gerard Baden-Clay is responsible for the murder of his wife Allison.

It has been a long wait over the last two years, and this result today marks the beginning of our long journey towards healing, and finally allowing us to mourn and grieve for this beautiful woman.

Today is not a win for our family, for it will not bring our beautiful Allison back. However, it is the closure of another chapter in this journey for our family. We have lost Allison and nothing that has happened here will bring her back.  We as a family will grieve her tragic death forever, the memories tarnished by the fact that she was taken from us in such horrific circumstances.

We would like to thank the Queensland Police Service and the CIB officers involved in the investigation, the SES volunteers who searched night and day in all weather, the scientific experts and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who have all worked tirelessly to ensure that we have justice for Allison.  We would also like to thank them for their compassion and support over what has been the darkest of times.

To all of our family and friends that have sat in the court each and every day supporting our beloved Allison, we thank you and hope that you too now find some peace from this result.

Throughout this time, those in the close knit Brookfield community and those in the media and wider public have shown us empathy and compassion for which we are enormously grateful. More so, however, we have appreciated your efforts to protect the privacy of Allison’s daughters.

Our primary concern has always been and remains the emotional and physical well-being of Allison’s three beautiful daughters.  We will help them to rebuild their lives and ask for your support, cooperation and privacy in order to do this.  We have a long way to go ensure that they will cope with a future without their mother.

Allison was a kind-hearted, generous woman, a loving wife and devoted mother whose legacy will continue if we all remember that life is precious and to take the time to be kind, smile at those who pass you by and live for today.

We, her family and friends, didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but Allison will always remain forever in our hearts.

Thank you”

Gerard Baden-Clay given life sentence for murder of wife Allison

Updated 1 minute ago

Former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has been given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his wife Allison in April 2012.

A Supreme Court jury has convicted the 43-year-old of killing the mother-of-three at their Brookfield home and disposing of her body under the Kholo Creek Bridge, more than 13 kilometres away.

Allison’s family shouted “yes” as the verdict was read out, while security asked for a short break because Baden-Clay was struggling to breathe.

Baden-Clay, who had protested his innocence in the witness box, faces a non-parole period of 15 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Allison’s mother, Priscilla Dickie, said Baden-Clay had “betrayed” her daughter.

“We have all been robbed of Allison’s love,” she said. “The discovery of our darling daughter was absolutely devastating.

“The tragedy of it all is she had so much to offer.”

Allison’s father Geoff Dickie told the court he had been left “devastated by the murder of my precious, gifted and talented daughter”.

It was a case about sex, lies and murder that gripped the city of Brisbane for two years, and the ever-growing queues outside the Supreme Court were a testament to the public’s fascination with the sordid story.

In life, Allison Baden-Clay was a dancer, teacher, successful career woman, devoted wife and mother of three girls.

In death, she became well-known for all the wrong reasons.

Her disappearance in 2012 shocked the tight-knit affluent community of Brookfield. Well-wishers and concerned residents laid flowers at her home, not knowing what else to do.

At the same time, hundreds of police and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers swung into action, combing surrounding suburbs for any trace of the missing woman.

“Please help us, because there are three beautiful little girls of Allison’s wanting to see their mother,” her father had pleaded.

Her mother urged: “Our lives will never be the same – we must, must find her – she’s so precious.”

Premier vowed resources to find Allison

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman vowed to commit whatever resources were necessary to finding her.

“I’m just very sad for the family and friends. It’s obviously just incredibly distressing,” he said at the time.

Timeline: Baden-Clay murder

However, from the moment Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012, police knew this was no ordinary missing persons case.

He had told them she went for an early morning walk and never returned home.

But marks on his face alerted police that something more sinister may have happened.

Hours turned into days, and on April 30 a lone kayaker discovered what was later confirmed as Allison’s body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 10 kilometres from the family’s home.

That day, police refused to say whether Baden-Clay was a suspect.

On June 13, however, he was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.

Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison Baden-Clay near Kholo Creek.

Photo: Flowers and toys decorate a memorial for Allison near the Kholo Creek location where her body was found in Brisbane’s west, June 23, 2014. (AAP: Dan Peled)

Crown case against Baden-Clay circumstantial

By its own admission, the crown’s case against Baden-Clay was a circumstantial one, but the accumulation of evidence was powerful.

A post-mortem examination failed to determine a cause of death due to decomposition, and apart from a chipped tooth and possible bruising, there were no fractures to Allison’s body.

A court photo shows marks on the face of accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay.

Photo: Marks on the face of Gerard Baden-Clay. (Supplied)

But forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne believed Allison did not die from natural causes.

The crown said she died at the hands of her husband, the last person to see her alive.

At the time of her disappearance, Baden-Clay had marks on his face and body that drew the attention of police.

He had excuses for them, though: he had cut himself shaving in a rush; the marks on his neck were where he had crushed a caterpillar that had landed on him while he was watching one of his daughters compete in a cross-country race; and marks on his hand were from a screwdriver that slipped while he was helping renovate a friend’s house, but marks on his chest and shoulder could not be explained by him.

However, three forensic experts testified that marks on Baden-Clay’s face were likely fingernail scratches and Baden-Clay’s claim that they were from a razor was simply implausible.

They said marks on Baden-Clay’s body could also be from scratching, although they were less conclusive.

Then there was the dripping blood found in the boot of Allison’s four-wheel drive. DNA testing confirmed it was Allison’s.

Baden-Clay’s double life

The murder trial exposed a couple living very different lives publicly and in private.

On the face of it, the Baden-Clays were a successful family, running their own prestige real estate company.

But they were in deep financial trouble and Baden-Clay was having trouble paying off loans to friends.

In desperation, he had begged the state Member for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flegg, for a loan of up to $400,000, fearing he would go bankrupt without it.

Baden-Clay was also caught between two women: his wife and lover.

Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh

Photo: (L to R) Allison Baden-Clay, Gerard Baden-Clay and Toni McHugh. (Supplied/AAP)

In marriage counselling, Baden-Clay had professed to want a future with Allison, but at the same time was vowing to leave his wife on her birthday for former employee Toni McHugh.

An email trail between Ms McHugh and a secret account set up by Baden-Clay under the name Bruce Overland portrayed a tumultuous affair, and growing frustrations from Ms McHugh about her lover’s unfulfilled promises.

“Well you’ll have to forgive me that I feel disappointed when this happens. I’m sick of hiding,” Ms McHugh wrote on February 20, 2012.

“I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat … all so she doesn’t find out.

“Why should I believe things are going to be any different than the past[?]“

Ms McHugh wrote on March 27 she had looked at rental properties.

“It would be so much easier if you did just move in with me,” she said.

“She can get her own place and the week you have the children you move back to the house.”

I’m sick of being second best and having to take the back seat – all so she doesn’t find out.

Toni McHugh in an email to Baden-Clay

 

Baden-Clay wrote on April 3: “I have given you a commitment and I intend to stick to it – I will be separated by 1 July.”

He also wrote an email on April 11 – referring to Ms McHugh as GG – their names for each other were Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Boy.

“This is agony for me too. I love you,” he said.

“I’m sorry you hung up on me. It sounded like you were getting very angry. I love you GG. Leave things to me now. I love you. GB.”

Until April 2012, Baden-Clay had been able to keep his two worlds separate, but they were about to collide spectacularly.

On April 20, Allison and Ms McHugh were due to attend the same real estate conference.

In the witness box, Baden-Clay passed off his declarations of love to Ms McHugh as empty promises to appease a volatile, unstable and confrontational woman who was infatuated with him.

He portrayed himself as a philanderer, but no murderer: he had affairs with numerous women, but was never going to leave his wife.

Baden-Clay admitted he deceived Allison, Ms McHugh, his family and friends, and in return for his deception they gave him their loyalty.

“My intention was to end any relationship with Toni McHugh and solidify and continue my relationship with Allison for our future together,” he said in the witness box.

But the crown submitted Baden-Clay and Ms McHugh were very much entwined and his deceptive conduct showed what he was capable of.

Allison’s mental health raised at trial

The jury saw two faces of Allison. The defence painted a picture of a woman plagued by depression and unable to cope with the pressures of life.

They pursued the possibility that Allison could have taken her own life or wandered off into the night to her death.

According to testimony from Baden-Clay’s father, Nigel, and sister Olivia Baden-Walton, Allison was so incapacitated she could not get off the couch.

But her friends and family told a different story: she was a woman who was happy and feeling positive before she disappeared.

A GP, two psychologists and a psychiatrist who had treated Allison all said she was not a suicide risk.

Marriage counsellor Carmel Ritchie, who consulted with the couple just days before her death, also testified that Allison was hopeful for her future and wanting to make her marriage work.

One thing was clear, however: their marriage was in crisis. Allison’s journal revealed a woman tormented by self-doubt.

“I don’t want to be alone,” she wrote.

“I am afraid of being alone and lonely, maybe because I think I can’t handle it. I am afraid of failing – failing in my marriage and what people will think.”

Allison also had lingering questions about her husband’s affair with Ms McHugh. Some were answered, some were not.

Questions like how many times did they go to the movies together? How did they pay for hotels? Where did they have sex in her apartment? Sex in the family car?

“Did she ever say: ‘I feel bad because you’re married?’”

Three daughters left behind

The trial was the first time the public had heard the three Baden-Clay children speak about their mother’s disappearance.

Heartbreaking video recordings of police interviews with the girls, then aged 10, eight and five, taken on the afternoon their mother was reported missing showed their fear, distress and confusion at what was happening around them.

Baden-Clay wiped away tears while watching his daughters sob as they were quizzed by detectives.

Each described being put to bed by their parents. The middle girl remembered her mother singing Away In A Manger to her.

“Dad said mum had gone for a walk,” the eight-year-old said.

The youngest child said: “She was walking for a long time and we think she twisted her ankle.

“I didn’t get to see her at all because I was fast asleep.”

The eldest recalled seeing her mum on the couch watching TV when she got up to get a glass of water.

“Dad was trying to keep calm for us, but I don’t actually know what was going on in his head,” she said.

She saw “scratches” on her dad’s face, but none of the girls heard anything during the night.

The families and supporters of the Baden-Clays have sat through each day of the trial listening to evidence almost too painful to bear.

They are bound by grief, but divided by loyalty.

The guilty verdict gives them an answer – wanted or not.

But one question remains, and only Baden-Clay can really answer how he murdered his wife.

Amidst the murky personal drama are three little girls who lost their mother and will now have to learn to live without their father.

A JURY has found Gerard Baden-Clay guilty of murdering his wife Allison.

The former Brookfield real estate agent, 43, pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court at Brisbane at the opening of his trial six weeks ago.

A jury of seven men and five women delivered its verdict shortly after 11.50am today after deliberating for 21 hours before reaching a decision.

Justice John Byrne asked the jury to retire to deliberate on Thursday at 11.10am.

Jurors lined up across one side of the court as they were asked by the judge’s associate: “Do you find the defendant Gerard Robert Baden-Clay guilty or not guilty of murder?’’

The family of Allison Baden-Clay, including her parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, who are seated in the packed public gallery of court 11, cheered as the jury replied: “Guilty”.

The accused was seated in the dock and stood to talk to his lawyer Peter Shields as the judge discharged the jury and thanked them for their service.

Justice Byrne told the jurors he was grateful for their service.

brisbane times

Gerard Baden-Clay appeal likely: legal expert

Date
July 16, 2014 – 2:29PM
Gerard Baden-Clay's defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right).

Gerard Baden-Clay’s defence team Michael Byrne, QC, and Peter Shields (right). Photo: Claudia Baxter

 

Wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay will almost certainly appeal his conviction and sentence, a Queensland criminal law expert says.

Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland says Baden-Clay’s legal team will be poring over transcripts of his 21-day trial to find grounds for an appeal.

Baden-Clay has 30 days to lodge an appeal, or apply for grounds to seek an extension of time to lodge an appeal, following his life sentence on Tuesday for the murder of his wife Allison in 2012.

“There’s a very good chance he will appeal,” Professor Douglas said.

“I haven’t been through the fine grain of the transcript, so it’s very difficult for me to suggest that there are clear-cut unambiguous grounds that are likely to lead to success, but certainly that’s what the defence lawyers will be doing now.

“They’ll be looking at every word and every direction, everything the judge said and everything that was presented in the trial.”

Under Queensland law, there are three avenues of appeal, one being error of law, as in whether the judge has made incorrect directions to the jury.

Another is if it can be shown the jury reached a “dangerous” verdict out of step with the evidence presented.

The third avenue is miscarriage of justice, which can cover a variety of scenarios including whether jurors have been found to undertake their own research outside the courtroom or if any evidence presented was prejudicial against the defendant.

Professor Douglas believes Baden-Clay’s legal team could pursue a miscarriage of justice appeal because one juror had downloaded overseas’ material on jury deliberations.

She said this might be enough grounds for an appeal application, but his lawyers would then need to prove, for the appeal to be upheld, that the juror’s action impacted on the defence’s case.

“No trial’s perfect,” she said.

“It may be possible for Baden-Clay’s defence team to identify errors in the trial or problems in the trial.

“That will get them through to the appeals stage where they can then appeal against the conviction.”

Professor Douglas said she was not familiar with the entire Baden-Clay trial but had been impressed by Justice John Byrne’s handling of the matter.

“Justice Byrne’s a very experienced trial judge … he’s been very conservative in what evidence he’s allowed into the trial,” she said.

“He has excluded some relevant evidence on the basis that it would be too prejudicial in the circumstances. I think he’s been very careful with his management of the evidence.”

 

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